One week from June 5 Primary, higher ed supporters campaigning hard

Public higher education supporters are working hard to remind voters that the California primary on June 5 could have a big impact on the future of public education, including the future of the CSU.

How we vote is changing, so campaigns are reminding voters to “make your plan to vote.” The biggest changes this primary election are in the five counties on the forward edge of the new California Voter’s Choice Act, a ballot measure approved in 2016.

Voters in Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento and San Mateo counties will no longer go to traditional precinct locations. Rather, all voters in those counties have received a ballot in the mail and can mail it back, drop it at  special Vote Dropboxes, or go to a nearby Voting Center where they can fill in their ballots and receive assistance. The centers are to open now—10 days before the June 5 Primary. These five counties are a pilot program; eventually the new voting methods will be extended to the remaining 53 counties across California.

In other counties, please be sure to find your local voting place on June 5. If you are voting by mail, make sure you post it on or before June 5, or deliver your ballot to your local voting place on Election Day.


CFA members and campus CFA chapter leaders have been texting and making phone calls all over California for CFA-endorsed candidates.

In Orange County, CFA is helping State Senator Josh Newman fend off a recall campaign after his upset win in 2016. Newman has strongly advocated in the Senate for reinvesting in public higher education and protecting public employee pensions. Leading up to his initial election, Newman wrote in an issue paper, “The public university system in California belongs to all of us, and we must ensure that it continues to properly and affordably serve us all.”

Statewide, CFA is campaigning for Gavin Newsom for governor and Tony Thurmond for state superintendent of education.

Noting heightened conflict in public schools and on campuses since late 2016, CFA President Jennifer Eagan said, “We believe that electing these two candidates is important to public higher education for many reasons, but their willingness to take on systemic racism and provide meaningful support for our diverse students is key among them.”

That commitment weaves throughout Tony Thurmond’s policy statement reflecting what he would do if elected. And, it shapes his personal history as an African American man striving to get his own education. He has dedicated much of his life as a social worker and elected official in West Contra Costa County to teaching and to improving public education for students. “Public schools saved my life,” he writes.

Newsom has used his position as lieutenant governor to defend against racism in the schools. “With the recent surge of hate crimes, racial targeting and bullying in our schools, it’s imperative that we address and combat this uptick plaguing the very classrooms that should be safe havens,” he said in a letter that was sent to all the state’s 58 county superintendents of education.

‘COURAGE FOR CHANGE’ BUS COMING TO TOWN: #TeamGavin Newsom is campaigning old style, by bus up and down the state. Check it out this Friday in Fresno, Saturday in Davis, Sunday in Hollywood, and Monday in San Diego. Click the link on the city closest to you for more information and to RSVP. Please wear your CFA gear if you attend, and after send a message and/or photo to CFA’s Political Organizer who would love you to share about it.

JOIN IN THE ACTION: Sign up on CFA’s web site to campaign for public higher education. Opportunities to participate are now through Election Day next Tuesday June 5.

PHOTO: Left to right, CFA Associate VP Cecil Canton, Capitol CFA Chapter President Margarita Berta-Ávila, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, CFA President Jennifer Eagan, CFA Secretary Kevin Wehr.